Wunderman Thompson national chief creative officer Simon Langley will depart the WPP agency in September to join independent creative agency Edge as partner and executive creative director.
Wunderman Thompson confirmed Langley's resignation with managing partner Michael Godwin thanking him for tenure with the agency.
“Simon has been a fabulous creative leader, mentor and partner for all of us at WT over the past six years. He’s fostered a burning ambition across our Australian offices to develop more impactful, effective and highly integrated ideas for our clients’ businesses and their brands," Godwin says.
"Beyond the quality of our creative output, Simon’s legacy is to leave one of the most talented national creative departments in the country and a team of senior creative leaders who he’s taught well, through his passion for developing talent at all levels.
“Our ongoing commitment remains to provide our creative department, the wider agency and our clients with strong creative stewardship. I want to thank Simon for his commitment and dedication to the national team and wish him every success for the future."
Langley replaces Matt Batten, who left Edge in December to pursue other opportunities after three years with the agency.
In his new role Langley will work across Edge’s Sydney and Melbourne offices on accounts including Bupa Dental, Mitre 10, Moccona, Virgin Money, Freedom, Nulon, Jaycar, Auto One and Costco.
He joined what was then JWT over six years ago and has been responsible for raising the bar creatively, consistently ranking as one of the most awarded and effective offices in the network.
Recently, he has also been instrumental in integrating the broader digital and experience capabilities into the national creative department post the merger with Wunderman.
His departure comes following recent news that longtime CEO John Gutteridge would also be stepping down from the agency with Lee Leggett taking the reins.
Langley says he loved his time at the agency but the special opportunity to join Edge lured him away.
“I’m extremely proud of the agency and the work we’ve created nationally over the years, from Global KIT KAT and Kellogg’s campaigns, to the ongoing powerful ‘I Touch Myself Project’ and everything in between for some of Australia’s most iconic brands," he says.
"But importantly, I’m just as proud of the culture we created. It’s been a real honour to work with amazing people and clients. I’m sad to be leaving them, but wish them well in their next exciting chapter under the leadership of Lee Leggett.
"I've been impressed by Edge and their evolution. They have real momentum and I connected strongly with the senior leadership team – sharing their philosophy, vision, and values. I'm excited to be joining an independent as a partner and can't wait to get stuck in and help take the business to the next level.”
Prior to Wunderman Thompson, Langley held creative leadership roles at 303 MullenLowe helping the agency double in size before the acquisition by Lowe and over six years at BMF, three as creative director, helping win multiple Agency of the Year titles and Agency of the Decade.
Langley’s creative work has garnered extensive award recognition at all the major international shows including D&AD yellow pencils, multiple Cannes gold, silver & bronze lions, One Show gold and silver pencils and Grand Prix at Spikes Asia for both creativity and effectiveness.
Edge group managing director David Stretch says Langley's appointment marks an exciting time for the future of the agency.
“We’re delighted that Simon joins us as a Partner in the business as well as ECD – we’re looking forward to working with him to produce world-class creative work for our clients, and also to continue to shape Edge as one of the leading independent agencies in Australia," Stretch says.
“Simon is joining Edge at a time that is undoubtedly challenging for the wider industry, but finds us full of energy and optimism for the future. Simon’s reputation for strong creative leadership, his passion for delivering great work, and his open and collaborative nature are all skills we need to help drive growth for our clients through this period.”
The hire is a significant step for Edge, which has gone through a transition over recent years from content marketing agency to a fully integrated creative and media business.
“For some time now we’ve been focussed on accelerating our clients’ growth by helping them find and maintain relevance with consumers. We call it Relentless Relevance," Edge executive planning director Richard Parker says.
"In Simon, we’ve hired a world-class creative leader with a reputation for tapping into cultural insights to deliver genuinely relevant creative work. He’s a natural fit with our culture and will be integral to our next stage of growth. And he’s a lovely human being.”
Edge has recently reshaped its senior leadership team with the appointments of former general manager at McCann, Nicole Gardner as executive director – account management and former group account director at Cummins&Partners, Rod Mooseek as general manager of its Melbourne office.
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